Do your kids leave any of the following behind in the morning? A) Jacket B) Lunch Money C) You, Bereft Without A Goodbye Kiss This homemade lightbox with snazzy lettering is more magical than (yawn) Post-Its. When you put your love up in lights, they’re sure to remember whatever it is you’re trying to tell them. The image will literally be seared into their little brains. Go ahead, try it on your husband too: inspire the whole fam with positive messages, words of wisdom, or friendly reminders. Then again, you can always use your lightbox to be silly and display jokes or total nonsense, depending on your mood. How do you spell boss? M-O-M. Use the power wisely.
1 Paint your wood. Once dry, cut the wood into equally sized rectangles that will ultimately be drilled together to make a box. Don’t forget to leave a hole in one of the rectangles that should be approximately the size of your light socket.
2 Once you’ve drilled the wood pieces together into your free-standing box, line the inside of the box with aluminum tape. This will reflect the light.
3 Place your light socket into the hole you’ve created in the wood and secure it with a light bulb, tightly screwed into the other side.
4 Cut the plastic frame to fit your box and glue it in place.
5 Cut acetate into rectangle shapes and add letters to them. We recommend making the entire alphabet x 2.
6 Cut corrugated plastic as wide as your plexiglass to create a ledge to hold your letters.
7 Add the letters to the ledge and put your lightbox on display around the house! Safety first! Never leave your lightbox on for prolonged periods, or unattended. Bulbs can become warm and where there’s heat, there’s always the potential for flames.
The Sci Behind the DIY
More than just fun for the whole family, this lightbox is a trippy trick that harnesses optical power. You see, objects that can be seen by you, but don’t produce their own light, reflect light – that’s how you’re able to see them. The sides of this box reflect light. Specifically, polished metal surfaces reflect light much like the silver layer on the backside of a glass mirror.
Reflection involves two rays: an incoming (incident ray) and an outgoing (reflected ray). Like a camera lens, your eye is designed to focus light, ultimately making your very important message to the kiddos very visible…and very science-savvy.
- Frosted plexiglass
- Light socket & bulb
- Aluminum tape
- Letter stickers
- Corrugated plastic
- White paint & brush
- Nails & a drill